Provinces of Nepal

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Steven Verbanck sent me a link to the new Constitution of Nepal. It reorganizes the country from five development regions into seven provinces. The constitution calls them simply Province No. 1 to Province No. 7. Clive Carpenter sent me a link to source [11], which shows "proposed" provinces and names. The former districts have been preserved; however, two districts, Nawalparasi and Rukum, are now split between two provinces.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, has changes to the listing for Nepal, but nothing that affects data reported on this site. The only change is adding the prefix NP- explicitly to each development region code.

A bill passed by the interim legislature-parliament on 2007-12-28 declared Nepal a democratic federal republic, effective as of 2008-05-28. The monarchy has been abolished. This affects the official name of the country, which has been updated in ISO 3166-1 by Newsletter VI-3, published on 2008-09-09.

In "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", I showed aanchal (zones) as the primary subdivisions. The zones could be grouped together to form five vikas kshetra (development regions). I added, "recent publications of the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal list development region and district names, but not zone names. The zones are probably less significant than the districts." Source [8], a profile of Nepal on a government website, doesn't even mention the zones, and I believe they're no longer in use.

Country overview: 

Short nameNEPAL
ISO codeNP
LanguageNepali (ne)
Time zone+5:45


Nepal has been independent during the entire 20th century.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Nepal
  2. Dutch: Nepal
  3. English: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (formal)
  4. Finnish: Nepal
  5. French: République f fédérale démocratique du Népal m
  6. German: Nepal n
  7. Italian: Nepal m
  8. Nepali: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal (formal)
  9. Norwegian: Nepal
  10. Portuguese: Nepal
  11. Russian: Федеративная Демократическая Республика Непал (formal)
  12. Spanish: Nepal
  13. Swedish: Nepal
  14. Turkish: Nepal

Primary subdivisions: 

Nepal is divided into seven provinces.

SevenNP.SE2,552,51719,5397,544Far West
7 provinces26,494,504147,18156,827


Note: Populations and areas calculated by adding the component districts. For the two districts that are split between provinces (Rukum and Nawalparasi), I arbitrarily assigned half of their data to each of those provinces.

Postal codes: 

Nepal uses five-digit postal codes. The first digit represents a region; the first three digits represent a district. The codes are rarely used.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Nepal page.

Nepal also divides itself into ecological regions called Mountain, Hill, and Tarai. These are east-west strips. Mountain, in the north, includes the highest elevations. The southernmost strip is Tarai, with the lowest elevations. Most of the provinces contain part of each section. Exceptions: Two is all in Tarai, Five is all in Hill and Tarai, Six is all in Hill and Mountain.

The provinces are subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into villages.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Nepal lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Dhawalagiri: Nepalese dhaval: white, giri: mountain

Change history: 

In the 1950s, Nepal consisted of 34 districts.

Banke and Bardia150,000800
Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat514,5561,388
Chitwan and Nawalpur150,0001,000
Dailekh and Surkhet300,0001,200
Dang and Deokhuri150,0001,100
East No. 1 Chautara370,0001,493
East No. 2 Ramechhap250,4471,291
East No. 3 Okhaldhunga275,5032,037
East No. 4 Bhojpur238,533926
Jumla and Humla160,0005,000
Kailali and Kanchanpur100,0001,400
Khajhani and Syuraj150,000500
Mahottari and Sarlahi700,0001,200
Palhi Majhkhand250,000600
Sallyan and Jajarkot450,0003,000
Saptari and Siraha431,599912
West No. 1 Nuwakot400,0002,200
West No. 2 Gorkha200,0001,100
West No. 3 Pokhara450,0002,500
West No. 4 Pallo Nauwakot400,0001,500
34 districts8,598,40754,510
  • Population: 1952 estimate.
  • Source: Encyclopædia Britannica World
    Atlas, 1957 edition.


1962-02: Nepal reorganized into the following 14 zones.

BheriBHNP021,103,04310,5452Nepalganj, Surkhet
JanakpurJANP052,061,8169,6691Sindhulimadi, Ramechhap
KosiKONP071,728,2479,6694Biratnagar, Dharan
LumbiniLUNP082,013,6738,9753Butawal, Bhairawa
MahakaliMANP09664,9526,9895Dadeldhura, Patan
NarayaniNANP111,871,3348,3131Hetauda (Bhimphedi), Birgunj
RaptiRANP121,046,84210,4822Tulsipur, Sallyana
SetiSENP141,014,34912,5505Dhangarhi, Silgadhi
14 zones18,491,097147,181
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 1991-06-22 census.
  • Reg: ISO code for development region (see below)
  • Capitals: Sources disagree about the identities of the zone capitals. I
    wasn't able to explain the discrepancies as moves from one city to
    another, so I have listed all the capitals named by more than one
    independent source, giving the most frequently cited capital first. These
    may be summer and winter capitals.


~1995: Zones fell into disuse, so the already existing five vikas kshetra (development regions) effectively became the primary subdivisions.

Region HASCISOPopulationArea(km.²) Area(mi.²) Nepali nameCapital
Central NP.MM19,656,985 27,410 10,583MadhyamanchalHetauda
Eastern NP.PW45,811,555 28,456 10,987PurwanchalDhankuta
Far-WesternNP.SP52,552,517 19,539 7,544 Sudur PashchimanchalDipayal
Mid-WesternNP.MP23,546,682 42,378 16,362Madhya PashchimanchalBirendranagar
Western NP.PM34,926,765 29,398 11,351PashchimanchalPokhara
5 regions26,494,504147,18156,827
  1. 2015-09-20: Under the new constitution, Central development region split into two parts, one forming province Three, and the other, with the addition of two districts from Eastern region, forming province Two; province One formed by taking fourteen districts from Eastern development region; Far-Western development region renamed province Seven; Mid-Western development region split into provinces Five and Six, with part of Rukum district going to each of the two provinces; Western development region renamed province Four. In addition, the part of Nawalparasi district west of Bardaghat Susta annexed to province Five. Except as mentioned, each district remained intact within one of the provinces.

Other names of subdivisions: 

In some transcriptions from Nepali, long vowels are marked, but not always consistently.

  1. Dhawalagiri: Dhaulagiri (variant)
  2. Kosi: Koshi (variant)
  3. One: Sagarmatha (variant)

Population history:



  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Dutt, Ashok K., and M. Margaret Geib. Fully Annotated Atlas of South Asia. Westview Press, Boulder and London, 1987.
  3. [3] Schmidt, Karl J. "An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History". M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y., 1995.
  4. [4] Statistical Pocket Book, Nepal, 1990. Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu.
  5. [5] National Population and Housing Census 2011 . Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu, November, 2012 (retrieved 2012-12-07).
  6. [6] Nepal Population Report 2002, Ministry of Population and Environment (, dead link, retrieved 2005-10-12).
  7. [7] Table 1, 2001 census report, Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics (, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  8. [8] Profile of Nepal (, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  9. [9] República (, dead link, retrieved 2015-08-25).
  10. [10] Constitution of Nepal, 2015 , Unofficial translation (retrieved 2015-10-19).
  11. [11] "Making Tarai Separate Province Harmful ," People's Review (dated 2014-11-05, retrieved 2015-11-26).
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